The return of CM Punk at Survivor Series has resulted in the return of the worst talking point on the wrestling internet. It goes something like this: "Well it will be different in WWE because it is a professionally run company, unlike that sloppy shop AEW." I have been a fan of wrestling for over three decades now and at no point have I thought that WWE is a professionally run company. No, AEW isn't either. NWA? TNA? WCW? ECW? Nope, nope,nope, and nope.
By the standards of any other sports or entertainment company, wrestling companies in the United States have an abysmal record when it comes to being professionally managed. Wrestlers are misclassified as independent contractors and given no health insurance or pension. They are often required to manage their own travel from show to show. The number of wrestlers who die at a young age is shocking. There is no transparency when it comes to injuries or salaries. I could go on and on.
Just think about some of the things that have happened in the wrestling business over the years and try to imagine the reaction if it happened with another company. Owen Hart plunged to his death and they finished the show. Can you imagine a Broadway show finishing after an actor died? Wrestlers have died or been injured in car accidents and small plane crashes. Can you imagine a sports team telling their players they are on their own to make it to the location of the next game? Chris Benoit murdered his wife and child and was given a tribute show the very next night. Can you imagine any other show not even waiting a few days to get more information about what happened before airing a tribute?
You might be wondering, if I think the wrestling business is so poorly run, why have I been a fan for so long? Well, the answer is everyone in the wrestling business, from the performers to the management, are grown adults. They knew the risks and the way the industry works and they made the decision to enter the profession. No one is recruiting young kids and forcing them into the wrestling business. So I have a clear conscious when it comes to watching the shows. But at no point have I ever considered trying to work in the industry.
So please, spare us the talking point that your favorite wrestling company is more professionally run than the company you don't like. This is an industry in desperate need of reform and even if your company is better managed than another, it definitely isn't something to brag about.